Saturday, June 30, 2012

Open Adoption, Open Heart book review

It happens every once in a while that seemingly random events line up and I'm in awe all over again at the awesomeness of our God.

In order to explain this special book, I need to explain each little event.

Two years ago, Jack and I started this blog as a way to try to open the hearts of some of his family members who were adamantly against us adopting. (Read our first entry here.) We wanted to openly share our testimony about why we were choosing adoption to grow our family and how God was leading us through our decisions. What we didn't plan was that the very family members that we began to write the blog for, to my knowledge, to this day, now two years later, still don't read this blog. And, we also didn't plan that God would lead us elsewhere almost immediately after we thought He was leading us towards adoption.(Read our post immediately after our first adoption seminar.)

Two years ago, while we still had adoption at the front of our minds, and again one year ago (this month!) we were planning on adoption when we discovered that I was pregnant. (Read that blog post about finding out I was pregnant here.) We had started to make plans on what to sell to raise money to pay for it and I started scouring the Internet and reading books.

I came upon several adoption forums and then, later, YouTube channels. One adoptive mom, Candace, really stood out to me and once I found her channel, I went back and watched every video she had posted.

Now, a year later, I'm still writing in my blog and adoption is always at the back of my mind. I still follow Candace's YouTube channel and I waited with baited breath as they went through their most recent adoption and I cried as I watched the video of them bringing home their son.

Obviously, I also was pregnant and have given birth to my own (miracle) baby in that time.

On one of Candace's recent videos, she posted a link to a Facebook page. I started following it, and the other day, they asked for followers to post their blog links, so I posted mine.

This morning, I received an email from a man who was in one of Candace's last videos. He said he went to my blog from their Facebook page and that he would like to know if I would like to read his book and do a review on my blog.

I was super excited because I had tried contacting publishing houses in the past to do reviews on their books, but I had no luck.

Russell sent me a copy of his book, Open Adoption, Open Heart on Amazon and I read it today through Arie's naps. I wasn't paid or compensated in any way for this review, it is entirely my opinion.

I LOVED his book. I have a heart for adoption and infertility since those struggles are so close to my heart, but this personal story of their adoption journey will touch anyone's heart.

Open Adoption, Open Heart gives a much needed and honest view into the world of open adoptions. He explains very well the roller coaster of emotions that couples go through before ultimately choosing to pursue adoption, the rigorous hoops needed to jump through before finally being able to officially wait to be chosen by birth parents.

His story moved me in so many ways. I not only saw so many similarities to Jack and I with Russell and his wife, Jammie; but, I also could feel my heart breaking and rejoicing with them through their journey.

I am a big supporter of adoption and of birth mothers and birth parents choosing life for their children, and I think Open Adoption, Open Heart is an excellent book that will help expectant parents see that with open adoption, you are never saying goodbye to that child forever.

Every adult could benefit from reading Open Adoption, Open Heart. With infertility affecting one in six couples, everyone will know someone who at one point or another, has considered or pursued adoption. This book gives a perspective that is honest and heartfelt of walking in the shoes of an adoptive parent through the process of an open adoption. Open Adoption, Open Heart is something that I would recommend to friends and family members of someone who is starting the adoption process whether as an adoptive parent or a birth parent.

Russell writes, "Everybody knows about adoption, but not everybody understands the concept of an open adoption. If they did, how many people would make a different choice? If they knew that they wouldn't have to say good-bye forever to the child growing inside of them, would they choose something different?"  Reading Open Adoption, Open Heart is a good first step in knowing and understanding how amazing an open adoption can be.

One more strange "coincidence" is that Russell and Jammie name their son after Russell's Grandfather. If you read my blog post, "What's in a name?" you will see that Jack and I named our son after Jack's Grandfather. Even crazier, Russell and Jammie named their son Ira. In my post about how we came up with Arie's name, you will read that Jack's Grandpa also goes by Ira.

I wish that I would have had Russell send me a paper copy of his book so that I could lend it to others!

Check out Open Adoption, Open Heart by Russell Elkins.  Click here for Amazon link! And Like them on Facebook: Open Adoption, Open Heart.

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